Lemon Kush can describe a few different though similar strains. Prolific breeder Alien Genetics (creators of the popular indica Alien Kush) claims to have created one Lemon Kush strain by crossing Lemon G and Afghan Kush. Another, more common variety of Lemon Kush is the product of Master Kush and Lemon Joy. Cannabis testing lab Analytics 360 has measured strains labeled Lemon Kush at between 15% and 26% THC, making Lemon Kush a moderate to potent psychoactive agent.
Lemon Kush has buds that are nugget-like, and tend to be smaller than average. They hold a tight and dense bud structure, more typical of indica than sativa. Its leaves are light green, made to appear lighter by a heavy coating of trichomes. All this resin makes buds sticky, and difficult to break apart without a grinder. When buds are broken, however, they give off a sweet and smooth lemon scent. Intact buds also have Kush-like notes of dank earth and musk, balancing out the citrus profile. When smoked, Lemon Kush is notably harsh and expands within the lungs, often inducing coughing. The aftertaste is tangy and citrusy, but without the ammonia or diesel taste that comes with other lemon-inflected strains.
D-Limonene is the chemical compound — or terpene — responsible for the lemony scent and taste of Lemon Kush. D-limonene occurs naturally in citrus fruits and is used industrially to enhance the fragrance of lotions and perfumes. This terpene may also have some tangible medical benefits — in animals and test tube trials, d-limonene was found to have anti-inflammatory and even cancer-fighting properties (although these results were not replicated in a later test among women with breast cancer). D-limonene may also help to relieve acid reflux.
The high from Lemon Kush can creep up slowly, taking as long as 5 to 10 minutes before its effects are fully appreciated. An enhanced sense of cerebral focus is characteristic of this high. An increase in creativity and rapid free-association of thoughts is also common, making this a good strain for artistic endeavors or for simply appreciating music or a movie. These mental effects are more clearheaded than spacey, freeing the user up to go about errands or household chores like cleaning. An evenly balanced strain, Lemon Kush also has a bit of a body buzz, mellowing out the cerebral effects and reducing the likelihood of cannabis-induced anxiety or paranoia. Couchlock is not often reported, making Lemon Kush a strain that can be easily enjoyed during the daytime as well as at night. Physically, Lemon Kush has been said to provide relief from headaches and anxiety. Less desirable effects include the annoying feeling of cottonmouth.
Lemon Kush can be grown by newcomers to cannabis cultivation, although an indoor environment is recommended. Outdoors, plants will thrive in a warm, almost Mediterranean climate, but may have trouble in regions without consistent warmth and sunlight. Under high-watt bulbs indoors, plants grow between 4 and 6 feet tall and have a standard, bushy indica shape. Plants should be grown in organic soil and supplemented by nutrient treatments like humic acid, vitamin B, and various enzymes. Lemon Kush plants flower indoors at the 8 to 10 week mark; they are ready for harvest between late September and mid October when grown outdoors. Plants provide an average yield.
Despite the ambiguity around its origins, Lemon Kush is a tasty and effective strain for those who want to appreciate the ideal effects of both indica and sativa varieties. Its cerebral focus and free-flowing creativity can be mood-altering as well as energizing and motivational. Its body stone allows for deep relaxation without the inconvenience of couchlock or apathy. Because of its unique citrus and peppery taste, Lemon Kush is also a good strain to share in social settings — it makes for a special treat or a conversation starter.